You love your dog, but when it comes to their slobber, not so much. But for some pups, drooling is just part of the package. Several dog breeds, including Bulldogs, Basset Hounds, and Saint Bernards, are known to be big drool factories. Still, no matter what breed your dog is, should you be worried if they're drooling excessively?
Why Do Dogs Drool?
Drooling is a normal part of being a dog. All dogs do it, albeit some more than others. In a nutshell, drool results from a significant buildup of saliva in your pup’s mouth or oral cavity. Breeds that are more prone to lots of drooling typically have lip or head shapes that can’t hold the drool.
Instead, many of these breeds have extra skin folds around their mouths that collect the excess saliva. The saliva drips from their lips, causing the famous doggy drool. These dogs can also end up with water in the folds around their muzzles from when they drink.
If dogs have a lot of salivae build-up in these areas, they’ll drool excessively or give you an unwanted shower when they shake. But what if your dog isn’t a breed known for its impressive drooling talent?
You might notice excessive drooling if your pup gets excited about an impending treat. Perhaps you’re about to fill their dog bowl with their favorite meal or reward them with a special goody. In this case, your dog starts making extra saliva that will help digestion. Hello, drool. But what if your dog is drooling a lot more than usual?
Why Is My Dog Drooling So Much?
Understanding your dog and their behavior is one of the best ways to help your dog if something is amiss. When your dog behaves differently, it can signal potential illnesses or other issues. And the sooner you get a heads up about a problem, the faster you can fix it.
1. Upset Stomach
One reason for your dog’s increased drooling could be an upset tummy. Your dog could experience gastrointestinal issues for various reasons, including motion sickness or ingesting a foreign object. Often, nausea can lead to excessive drooling.
You might notice your pup starts to drool more during an extra-long car ride or a road trip. If this is the case, you should see the drooling improve after the motion stops. You might need to train your dog to handle car rides better. Also, you might want to talk with your vet about anti-nausea medications for when you travel.
If your dog eats something they shouldn't, such as your favorite sock, or their toy, it can also lead to extra drooling.
2. Ingesting or Licking Toxins
When a dog eats a toxic substance or, in some cases, licks one, it can cause many problems. For example, nibbling or eating a poisonous plant can lead to stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. When a dog starts to seize, it’s typical to experience increased drooling.
When your dog ingests anything poisonous, you’ll usually notice other signs like those mentioned above. It’s critical to get your dog checked out by a vet right away. You can also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Hotline for guidance.
If you have pets, make sure to keep all of your cleaning products and medications in a safe place. Also, don’t keep toxic plants in your home, yard, or gardens.
3. Teeth, Throat, Or Mouth Problems
Another thing to keep in mind if your dog eats something they shouldn’t is the object could get lodged in their throat. Additionally, a foreign object can get stuck between your dog’s teeth. It’s easier than you think for items to get stuck between your dog’s teeth or throat. Small pieces of wood, tiny bones, and pieces of fabric are all examples of what can end up in your pup’s mouth.
In addition to drooling, a lodged object can lead to more hazardous conditions like choking. This possibility is another example of why it’s always wise to contact your vet when you notice something amiss with your pet.
Tooth and gum issues are another big cause of significant drool. Your dog could have a fractured tooth, sores in their mouth, tartar buildup, inflamed gums, an abscess, or other dental problems.Regular dental care is a vital part of your dog’s overall health. It’s essential to brush your pup’s teeth daily and make sure you get regular dental checkups and cleanings.
Bumps or sores in your dog’s mouth can also make them drool. Whether benign or malignant, tumors in the mouth can cause your pup to slobber more. Your dog could also have sustained an injury to their mouth. You might also notice swelling, or your pup might not want to eat.
4. Heat Stroke
Drooling more than usual can sometimes indicate an immediate problem you need to handle swiftly. Dogs pant to cool off, and panting also comes along with drooling. But when your dog gets too much sun, they might experience heatstroke.
They’ll pant heavily to attempt to cool off, leading to more drool. You might also notice your dog seems confused, has red gums, and they could even pass out. Heatstroke is extremely serious, and you need to contact your vet right away to get your dog help.
5. Underlying Conditions
Certain health problems or illnesses, like a sinus infection, can lead to drool. Furthermore, severe conditions like kidney disease, liver disease, and canine bloat can make your dog drool. A telltale sign of rabies is excessive saliva, accompanied by behavior changes and aggression. However, these signs, including salivating, are usually in the final stage of rabies symptoms.
Stress and excitement can lead to increased drool. When stressed or overly excited, it can cause your dog to salivate more, hence the drool. The saliva builds up to a point where your dog can’t handle it, so it drips out of their mouth.
For example, you might notice your dog starts to drool when you grab their dog leash. They’re getting excited about the upcoming walk. Or perhaps they’re drooling in the waiting room at the vet’s office because they’re anxious.
Should I Be Worried About My Dog's Excessive Drooling?
If your dog is a breed known for its drool or you just went on a long car ride, your pet’s drooling is likely typical. In other words, it’s nothing to worry about. Keep a handkerchief or towel handy to keep the drool under control (and off your floors).
However, if your dog’s drooling is uncharacteristic for them or it accompanies any other unusual signs, it’s best to see the vet. Anytime your dog’s behavior is out of the ordinary, it's better to be safe than sorry and make a vet appointment.
When you’re ready to learn even more about your four-legged friend, check out the rest of our blog. You’ll find tips on being the best pet parent to your canine companion.